How to Store Equipment & Materials Safely

forklift and pallets image by timur1970 from

Protect your company by following health and safety regulations when storing equipment and materials or products. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets forth guidelines to help protect the integrity of businesses and to keep them running smoothly.

Integrate a few policies to keep inventory organised and to protect operating equipment.

Train employees to follow a plan. Create a layout for the storage area within your company and develop easy ways to access materials and inventory. Provide enough space to use equipment and train employees to put equipment back where it was found. Create signs or labels for different types of materials and direct workers to place products within the allocated space.

Designate an area to store equipment. Have a spot to park forklifts or lifting vehicles. Place a storage bin or locker area to place gloves, helmets, eye protection and other gear in a prominent space for workers. Make signs to place in break rooms, storage areas and doors with reminders to shut off power equipment and to properly close or seal chemicals used.

Use handles, supports or other handling equipment to load and unload bulky items. OSHA advises workers to use blocking materials to help stack loads of materials safely. Putting blocks between pallet loads or other products can protect items from falling. Workers should use handles, back supports and forearm protection to unload and store items with sharp edges or bulky packaging.

Break down the load size. Protect workers from injury by cutting down on the amount that is carried on a trip. Have workers carry items within a manageable size, making sure they can easily see their surroundings. Combine workers into groups to move large or bulky materials into storage.

Write a detailed emergency plan. Accidents can happen even with the best planning. Be prepared with an emergency plan if something goes awry when storing or moving material. Create an evacuation plan to remove workers from a storage area in case of a chemical leak, falling materials or other mishaps. Write out phone contacts of poison control, specific health service centres and insurance information. Keep a list of worker's emergency contacts to notify the victim's relatives or friends in case of an accident.